tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN October 29, 2014 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
there is not a fundamental problem. if there is not a path for this society to take advantage of what the young people have to offer. but they're not the only part of the picture. because for as many kids like that as there are, there are kids willing to break their back and work hard in a number of fields. kids who want to be really good plumbers, really entrepreneurial plumbers opening businesses, restauranteurs, shop owners. all of those represent a potential. what that experience really reaffirmed for me is that we have to approach immigration in a way that gives individuals
like this a chance. the president has made clear that in the absence, in the wake of the failure of congress to really give him a credible comprehensive immigration reform package. that he will act on his own some time between the election and the end of the year. and i assume everybody's here ready for me to tell them the details of that program, right? okay. what i will tell you is this. we're going to be ready. our agency will be shouldering the primary responsibility for executing whatever it is that the president and then in turn secretary johnson orders. and we have been busy making sure that however this is done, we do it in a way that actually works.
and so that's the one commitment that i can make to you. the other thing that i would point out is that as we think about a broken immigration system, and as we think about the failure to actually pass a comprehensive immigration reform. it's important to always remember that this discussion is about much more than individuals who are in the united states in an undocumented status. so, not only is -- it a symptom of a broken immigration system that we have 11 million people in the united states in an undocumented status. many of them, by the way, i know we have migration policy institute has done work on this. many of them in the united states for a long time. i know we're talking a lot about what's going on on the southern border right now. many of these folks, in fact, have been here for ten plus
years, 15 plus years, 25 plus years. they are now part of our society. whether that is recognized, or not. they are now part of our society. that's one issue. that's not the only issue. the fact that we have a basic immigration structure that is out of line with the needs of our economy is another issue. the fact that very often your access, your access to different kinds of immigration benefits can take years and decades is another symptom of a broken system. and a lot of people talk about this notion of waiting in line. there are a lot of places where there is no line. there is no line depending on who you are and where you're from and what you do and what your economic status. there is no line. so all of that, all of those kinds of questions are part of the symptom of a broken
immigration system. i also want to talk for just a second about the situation that we have on our border. and i want to talk about it as a situation on our border as opposed to the situation of the uacs who are part of it, but they're not all of it. and this is something not well understood by the general public. general public has really focused on this notion of children who they'd like to not admit are children coming to the united states and then sort of finding some path to staying here. in fact, the migration is migration of people of all ages. there are kids coming over, there are families coming over, there are adults coming over. and our agency plays a significant role in all of these scenarios. more and more, the adults coming over are making different kinds
of claims of persecution. and we have done what we needed to do in order to provide these individuals with credible fierce screenings at the border. and more and more kids are also once they're settled here either in foster families or otherwise offices of hhs, presenting asylum claims of different kinds. and the complaint is that both the credible fear allegations. are somehow fabricated. or that somehow we are recognizing these claims where we should not. and the one assurance i want to provide in this area is that we are doing our job.
and i came to this with the eyes of a former prosecutor. i have made people confess. and so i was able to watch the quality of this interview. and i was really struck by two aspects of this interview. one, it was a thorough interview. and everywhere where i thought the young man who was conducting the interview should've followed up, he followed up. he asked those second and third questions to really probe the validity of the claim being made. but at the same time, it is part of the responsibility to make sure these individuals are afforded due process. and we will uphold that that responsibility. because as much as anything else, given our history where i started this conversation as a country that offers refuge. the one thing that would certainly be a tragedy is to not provide due process and then to
find somebody who really should have been afforded asylum was not provided asylum. we're going to continue doing our job. we're going to ask those hard questions, do good interviews. we're going to deploy so that this process can go on as efficiently as possible. we're really going to safeguard due process at the same time. i'm really excited about the conference you guys are going to be having here. i, unfortunately, will not be able to be here for all of it, but i'm excited to hear the read out. there's so many of you who have been working so long and so hard in this field, i think a lot of really, really important insights are going to flow from this. i'm looking forward to hearing the readout and also really getting to know and work with many of you in the months and years to come. with that, i'm going to open it
up to questions. i believe the -- >> if you could introduce yourselves first and just line up at the mikes here. >> hi, my name is penny with cns news. i know that you've mentioned there are people that are coming across the border not just from central and south america, indeed, all over the world. i wonder if you would address, please, what health screenin screenings -- how are they a part of how people are interviewed and checked. you know, where does health come in in the screening process for people, especially given ebola now? >> well, and understand i'm a little bit out of my portfolio here. there are health screenings. that is my understanding. specifically, there are screenings for tuberculosis
among other conditions. beyond that, that would be a great question to direct hhs. who actually conducts the screenings. >> yes, director rodriguez, it's julia preston from the "new york times." i'm wondering if you could give us more detailed information about how you're getting ready for the president's executive action. how many people are you anticipating? what are you doing in terms of hiring in a situation where as you, i'm sure are aware, you have a fee-based agency. based on the applications that are coming in. just what is the dimension of the program you are anticipating? >> those are great questions. and i can tell you right now is we are doing our job. i'll let the editors know.
>> hi. i'm wondering if you could talk as we hopefully move forward. and we reform our immigration system to be one that is more forward looking, along the lines of what brings value to our country and economy. how do you plan to use local government in the integration process? you know, a lot of us who deal after the federal issues adjudicated or not in the case of 11 million unauthorized immigrants, a lot of these play out in the local levels with schools, municipal government, with local economies. have you thought much about how to include local perspectives in the integration process? >> no, that's a great, great
question. the potential of a local government to play a positive role in this space is immense. as it stands, even now, we collaborate extensively with local governments throughout the united states in promoting access to citizenship. one of my favorite aspects of my job is going to naturalization ceremonies and seeing folks being new americans. that really, the kind of collaborations we've had with different municipal governments, new york city, los angeles, are really a model, i think and now
a facility with 2,400 new beds. how are they making a determination? >> sure, again, a question that i would ask you really to direct to customs and border patrol. and remember, the children, these unaccompanied children just to be clear, they are not permitted under law to be in detention for any sort of extended period of time. there are a number of family units, and kids who are here with their parents who could be in some sort of secure setting. and, of course, adults also are essentially expected to be unless they're paroled in some way in a secured setting. but those actual details, or not details that we really run from
cis, those are i.c.e. and customs and border patrol in particular. i would recommend directing that question to them. >> i think we're going to take two more questions here. i actually want to interject, not to follow up on julie but to ask you on implementation. if you can talk about the displacement of other resources. i know that citizenship is one of yours, as well. and if we're talking about a major executive action program covering millions of people that obviously takes a lot of resources. it also takes huge amounts of coordination within dhs, within the department of, you know, the department of justice, eoir and others. can you talk about impleme implementation from that broader perspective? >> sure. and i think one of the really important lessons we learned from -- we did experience some impact on our other lines of business, family visas experienced some longer processing times.
we really learn how to surge in a way that we really never had before. and so as we prepare for another potential surge. i think we're going to be leaning heavily on the dock experience modeling on the doc experience in order to really minimize impact on the existing lines of business within cis. sir? >> good morning. could you address the claim that children coming from central america and families, as well should be -- consider refugees in a similar way as populations moving from one place to another are considering refugees in other parts of the world and what are the implications of these? >> sure, no, i mean, i've heard that, and certainly there are situations where we have made
positive credible fear findings which essentially means that there is a claim for some kind of refuge and where we are finding that some of the unaccompanied children do appear to qualify for asylum. what i'm not ready to do and the record has not sustained this notion that as an entire class as a matter of law, okay. there is a normal understanding of what it means to seek refuge, but as a matter of law, absolutely every individual crossing the border is a refu e refugee. i'm not prepared to say anything like that. now, do some of them state very solid claims for asylum status. and the answer i would say is very clearly yes. >> hello, my name is tyra matthews and i work for uscis. my question is, well, i was interested in what you were saying about matching the immigration system with the economic needs of the country.
and i was wondering how you see government working with private sector economic institutions like this, civil society to best achieve that goal. >> well, it mean, i think -- and i said economics among many factors. i mean, i think, you know, that's why i was making the analogy to zoning. as we look at a variety of different factors. i think private industry plays a very critical role because i think we -- they tell us where the needs are. in fact, there are even now there are particular visa categories that require the sponsorship of a company or involved the transfer of an individual within a company from location to another. so the role of the private sector in this dialogue is huge. would you mind one more question? >> yes, i mean, no. >> thank you, i appreciate it. i'm a doctoral student at virginia commonwealth university. and my question is in regard to
the backlog in the affirmative asylum process. i was wondering what strategies uscis has been using to address some of these major backlog issues. >> yeah, no. those are great questions because the overall asylum case load has grown dramatically related to the circumstances we're discussing. and in order to process individuals more efficiently at the border, the unaccompanied children presenting claims. i don't want to minimize the work ahead of us to sort of get up to date. >> thank you.
>> thank you for your question. >> thank you very much, director rodriguez. appreciate your being with us. >> tonight on c-span 3, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the university of illinois. on education issues. after that, a look at the legacy of former afghan president hamid karzai. and finally a panel talks about ways to find jobs for veterans. all these events start tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> with the 2014 midterm election next week, our campaign debate coverage continues. at 9:00, the main senate debate.
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>> we're going to get started. we're a little bit behind schedule. i'm the executive director at clinic. i'm delighted to have you all here. and i'm delighted to follow director rodriguez because he really set up this panel i'll be moderating this morning. he spoke of a broad spectrum of organizations that play a role in this issue. and how immigrants energize our economy. he also mentioned how the federal government how the administration's looking at stepping into the void created by the lack of congressional action. and that is essentially what we're going to be speaking about this morning. since 2007, state elelegislatur have introduced laws and regulations related to immigration each year. last year, lawmakers in 45 states in the district of columbia enacted 437 laws and
regulations covering a wide range of issues, including higher education, enforcement and migrant and refugee programs. at the same time, civic organizations are focusing attention on integration on the economic, social and cultural value that immigrants bring to their communities. it is my privilege to introduce three distinguished panelists who will speak about how state, cities and local entities have filled the void of congressional action. they represent three different sectors engaging in immigration issues outside the purview of the federal government. in the interest of time, i'm not going to read their bios, you have them in your programs and i encourage you to look at them. but i would like to introduce to my immediate right, she's the commissioner of the new york city mayor's office of immigrant affairs. and senator ricardo lara represents the 33rd district in the california state.
leading the economic -- the city's economic revitalization. i'm going to stand. we're going to do this in a question and answer format to look at issues from these different sectors. and i will save time at the end for you all to have questions. so, i'd love to start with you. can you talk about the role that the mayor's office plays? and your commission plays in helping to fill the gap in benefits and gaps in new york city? >> sure. so, first of all, thank you so much for having me and for the conference organizers for having new york city represented here today on this panel. i guess one thing i'll say to start is some context, which is in that in new york city, one out of three individuals is foreign born or immigrant. that's more than people in chicago. it's 60% of new york city. there's not an aspect of life in the city that isn't impacting immigrant families and vice versa. so it's really something front
and center for city government for a long time. my office is essentially the bridge between city hall and new york city's many immigrant communities. and we have a very simple mission, which is to promote programs and policies that improve the well being of immigrant communities. and in de blasio's administration, we have three broad goals by which we sort of fulfill that mission. and the first is really to think about how to embed immigrant inclusion throughout the city's dna in a way. so it's not just the mayor's office of immigrant affairs that's thinking about immigrant well being, but it's really a part of the code of the city overall. and i think one good example of this that the mayor announced in january when he first took office is the city's municipal i.d. program. this is creating a government-issued local identification that's available to all regardless of immigration status and is really meant to function as a key to the city to open doors that were closed before to people who didn't have i.d. but also really to kind of
equalize access to many of the services and amenities in new york. and i'm happy to talk more about that later. another broad goal of ours is access to justice and whether it's sort of on one end of the spectrum, needing adequate representation to defend themselves in those cases all the way to naturalization and citizenship. the city has invested a lot of resources, has a number of different programs available to help people sort of move down that continuum and we're currently thinking about how we'll prepare for that at the local level, as well. it's a major goal. and then the third is where my background comes in is advocacy. and how does the city as new york serve as an advocate at the state level. right, new york has somewhat shamefully failed to pass the dream act still. and how do we function at the federal level for eventual immigration reform and certainly to support the president when he announced his executive action. that's really how we think about our role and happy to talk about
those initiatives in more detail. >> senator, can you tell me what the california's legislature's working on regarding immigration. and how do you look at what's happening in cities such as l.a. and san francisco? >> great to be here. buenas dias. we continue to address the fact that congress' complete failure to enact any type of comprehensive immigration reform. california has to lead given the fact we are the most diverse, most populous state in the country. and our legislature feels compelled to continue to serve as that kind of role model in terms of how can we ensure positive change. and so in california, we've continued a path, you know, legislation after legislation with the hope that one day we get comprehensive immigration reform. but until then, there's families in california that continue to be torn apart. and we see it on a daily basis when we go back to our
districts, when, you know, we're in our community, when we're in our churches. we see the struggle that people are going through. and the fact that we can't come up with some sort of comprehensive immigration reform. and so the -- the responsibility falls on the different states and city governments and local organizations. and so what we've done in california is continued, you know, we continue to lead where congress has continued to fail. and when it comes to driver's license bill, we finally got that passed. but we got that passed with the safeguards to ensure that we protect the individuals identity and then we protect the human and civil rights to ensure they're not victims of any discrimination. and likewise, we've seen case after case, and i'm sure you guys are aware of how professional students that are now graduating and our dream act students are graduating,
finishing law school. finishing their professional studies, yet lack the opportunity to actually pursue a career. and so this year, instead of doing it by piecemeal like we were doing it in the legislature, we decided to do just a blanket bill that would cover the different professions. and no longer just require a social security, but an item number to be able to qualify for that. and to allow the students or the professional to pursue the career and act as an independent contractor. again, understanding that the more folks have an opportunity to economic prosperity, the better our state is in. and california being a nation state and being the eighth largest economy in the world. continuing to promote that amongst residents remains a priority. we've just surpassed russia in italy's economy. we're on schedule to surpass france and the uk putting us back as the sixth largest economy. so our legislature
wholeheartedly believes we need to ensure that everybody has that opportunity for that economic prosperity. and that includes our undocumented community. >> thank you. steve, i will mention that steve was a former michigan state legislator. so as we talk about the interaction in these, i think he brings us back a layer to the conversation. can you tell us about global detroit and what your role is in interacting with the city of detroit as well as the state of michigan? >> sure. so, again, also want to thank the sponsors for inviting us and having a voice from the midwest, the heartland. we have a very different demographic make-up than either of our coasts, where most immigrants enter. i think a critical and important place where i think we're trail blazing new concepts and new ideas about immigration and what it means for our communities in the heartland. so, global detroit is a regional economic development initiative. we are not an immigration per se
initiative. we're certainly not an immigrant rights or advocacy organization. and we came together in the height of michigan and detroit's metro detroit's economic crisis in 2009. and i could get into some really woeful statistics, but really no state has ever had a decade as bad relative the over states in the country as what michigan had in the 2000s. and so at the height of this economic depression in michigan, the detroit regional chamber of commerce foundations and other community leaders began to ask a number of questions about what does the future look like. and one of those questions was, what role do immigrants play in the economy? and what are the opportunities? and what are the challenges? and so out of that, we found a number of really powerful statistics that actually are shared all across the rust belt and the industrial heartland of this country where immigration is -- really make jobs and
really power the economy. in i would say largely untold ways here in either national media or federal congressional debates. and so, just to briefly, you know, i'll try to throw two of what is probably about 30 something factoids or statistics that we commonly use at global detroit. from 1995 through 2005, according to research at duke university and uc berkeley, 32.8%, about a third of michigan's high-tech firms had an immigrant founder or cofounder. and this is a state where there's only 5% to 6% foreign born, which means you're about six times as likely to start a high-tech firm than those born in the u.s. who live in our state. and it's -- i could get into all kinds of statistics on -- we happen to have an immigrant population that's more educated that our native born population and frankly educated in the right fields. international students play a really powerful role in our
universities and colleges. but it's not just high-tech immigrants, and it's not just the stem and the h1bs and the things that you see the tech entrepreneurs trying to get. frankly, we are the only state that lost population, and our city, the city of detroit read lots of headlines of a large municipal bankruptcy in the history of america. you know, there are lots of reasons for that. and there's been a lot -- one that i don't think it's published often enough or very rarely. it's that we are still the 18th largest city in the country with about 700,000 people in the 2010 census. but we actually have the 135th largest foreign born population with only 35,000 immigrants in the city of detroit. the region, metro detroit has 400,000 immigrants and compares fairly well across the midwest. but the city really struggles. in fact, there's no other of the top 25 largest cities in the
country that fall outside the top 100. and only one other that falls outside the top 50 in terms of the size of the foreign born population. in a state that is rapidly aging like much of the midwest like pennsylvania and ohio, frankly, immigrants across the board from working class immigrants who work in agriculture industry, which is our second largest industry to powering our research universities and medical complexes and tech firms and automotive design information technology. really probably the most powerful economic development strategy we have going for us. and so i lead a initiative that seeks to capitalize on that that has launched between 6 and 10 depending on how you want to count, independent initiatives like the student retention program. and i'll just conclude with this. as i mentioned, we're part of a growing movement in the midwest that has come to this reality. so in just the last four years,
st. louis mosaic initiative similar to ours was launched. welcomedayton was launched in the city of dayton. the chicago office of new -- global cleveland, and similar initiatives are being formed in cincinnati, toledo, buffalo, and all across the midwest. and there are literally almost a dozen. we worked collectively on the global great lakes network. it's exciting work and important work and it really is focused on national and regional and economic policy. >> great. i'm going to follow up with you again, steve, for a minute. director rodriguez said that absent federal action, congressional action, we cannot do it all. so in -- with employment-based visas, you can't create them. there are other types of visas. what strategies do you use to overcome those types of challenges? >> sure. well, make no mistake that the biggest economic boost would be a more sensical policy.
clearly the challenges we face in detroit are different than in long beach and new york city. and our skill sets and needs are very different and probably one-size-fit-all policy might not work as well. but absent that, we're trying to do everything we can to take advantage of the opportunities that we have. and frankly those. a lot of those would prepare us well. what do we do. one is i mentioned international students. we launched the michigan global talent retention initiative. i keep saying at conferences i'm waiting for someone to contradict that would be the first. we have three full-time staff. we have agreements with 31 colleges and universities in the state of michigan that represent most if not all of the 28,000 international students studying in our state, which by the way is an $800 million export
product for our communities. and what we do is inform the students of the opportunities under the law to use their curricular practical training of their optional practical training under their visa to work both while they're in school and after graduation. and we highlight the opportunities as a gate way to investing more in-depth. and we can't answer long-term employment needs for this talent pool. but we can certainly create some gateways and opportunities. and we have 60 l global opportunity employers. and when you consider the fact that between 40% and 50% of all the masters and ph.d.s and engineers, life sciences, computer sciences, physical sciences are given to international students. it is insane that we don't have more policies to connect this incredible talent pool.
we have the world's most talented people coming to this country. in fact, i mentioned the statistic about 32.8% of our high-tech firms. follow-up research suggests the average high-tech entrepreneur, immigrant entrepreneur starts their company 13 years after they come to the country. and the number one reason they come to the country is to get an education. so we see our international student retention program as the pipeline to becoming the silicon valley of the midwest. and we also look at how do we better connect skilled immigrants. the so-called brainway syndrome that a lot of national players. we happen to have the fourth office of upwardly global nonprofit. i think now they're opening one in maryland, i believe. we're very happy to have their fourth office in the city of detroit to work with skilled immigrants and refugees when we're getting about 2,000 or
2,500 middle eastern refugees a year. and while they -- from just anecdotal experience, i don't have the statistics, i think some of the first people that are able to get out of the conflicts of syria and some of the issues in iraq frankly are the most affluent and educated. and so they come to the metro detroit. frankly, we have one of the highest in raw number than anywhere in the country. . looking at our state laws and licensing guides and those are a couple of the ways trying to connect talent under the existing broken immigration system. >> thank you. so can you tell us about new york's workforce initiative programs? >> sure.
>> it's undergoing a rethink. a big rethink. and this comprises both sort of city leaders as well as advocates in the field. and what's notable is that 1 out of 2 of the unemployed or underemployed are foreign born in new york city. our work system is not working for immigrants. convening groups to immigrant communities in particular the fact that recipients are not eligible. i don't think our workforce system has been trained on that making sure people are connected to the services they are entitled to now amgs thinking about learning from places like michigan and detroit.
doing better by our high-skilled workforce and connect them to the economic system so it's functioning better for them. the ford foundation, and i think the kind of big reality check for the folks in the room was there was a huge, informal economy, right? if executive action happened, suddenly that invisible workforce which is huge in new york city is no longer so invisible and is the workforce system prepared to be able to work with that population? and we're trying to think at the system level what ke do about that. and we're learning from others who have done a great job in this area. >> thank you. senator, you've championed
initiatives including the driver's license bill which passed and a measure that would extend health care for all which did not. what role do you think the state should play? >> i think it's the state's complete role to help its residents. as we talk about, for example, the health care, health for all bill. which will be reentered this next year. and i'm very confident we're going to get that signed. we look at the fact that our own experiences, working with folks, as we were signing people up to the aca. we realized that a large group, a large group of folks will live in mixed households. so, when people would come and try to sign up for the aca, then they would realize that, hey my spouse, the two children cannot they didn't want to leave anybody out.
and either, whether it's creating a state exchange very similar to what the aca does or expanding our medical to cover those folks so we can afford to pay becomes a necessity for us. it impacts our economy directly. spending $1 billion annuallily. and we know where our undocumented population is go g going. especially in a life or death situation where our emergency rooms are completely booked. for issues that can be treated. and we're going to continue to work on this issue. we've put a task force together.
you heard from our governor, how are we going to pay for this? this is what we're working on. how do we create a funding mechanism to help. you're going to see some creative ways that some of our immigrants rights group nationally might not agree with. but ideas on how we cover this population. we know if they have access to health care, again, it's about incorporate them into our society and ensuring they have the wherewithal for some sort. >> you've also provided representation. >> california is the only state that actually provided $3 million from our budget to help these children. we met with some of the biggest law firms in southern california
with our attorney general, and we realized that the nonprofits, the legal aid folks that are working on these cases don't have the resources to be able to tend to all case loads. that's coming up, understand the fact that the united states is responsible for what's happening, has to take responsibility for what's happened in central america. so we were debating what we were going to do to help these refugee children. we decided that we needed to do and understanding also that the cases of a child is represented by an attorney, the chances of them actually gaining is much greater than having, you know, a 10-year-old or 5-year-old go before a judge on their own. and so it just broke our heart.
and it is just the drop in the bucket of what we could do for the kids in california. so we gave we portioned $3 million that are going to go to help these organizations to ensure that when they partner with the legal team that the cases actually prepared for doesn't take that much longer to take the case before a judge. and, again, instead of, you know, shunning these children understanding they're in need. no one flees their country because they want to on a whim. these are children in dire need anywhere around the world in europe or anywhere else, we would do the same thing. we're proud of the fact we were able to do that. and we're going to monitor it and continue to see if we can give more money to the effort. >> that's great. i'm sure you're proud of what new york city is doing also for unaccompanied children?
>> yeah, we really came together in new york to respond to the child migrant issue. the city administration, we've formed an internal task force of mainly city agencies to figure out how we can best coordinate resources for the kids, specifically focused on things like educational and health resources. and so our city agencies are now actually located at the immigration court which, i think, in new york we have great immigration judges and they're really excited to have us there connecting the kids both to school enrollment as well as to child health class and other health benefits they may be eligible for. and they're running a series of community clinics connected to the schools where the children are sort of most concentrated in new york city. and then the city council along with two foundations and the robin hood foundation funded close to $2 million with universal representation for kids coming through the new york surge docket. so that's really exciting. i hope with response, it becomes
a steppingstone for us to be able to use our school system to connect kids. it's part of the mayor's platform and i think also something that teachers and guidance counselors were hearing from them, and they'saying how structure referral system that actually works for the schools as well as the kids, and the legal services provider. so we're thinking about that now. >> you mentioned the municipal i.d. could you talk a little bit more about that? >> sure. where the municipal i.d. started, the first program was launched in new haven in 2006 or 2007. and i know san francisco, oakland a few other jurisdictions around the country have these programs. i think for new york city, and the mayor. the notion was really simple. we have 500,000 undocumented in new york city who cannot get identification because we don't have a driver's license that's available for all. and so, the notion was starting with them, you know, we really
need to provide a government-issued local i.d. so that interactions with law enforcement are better. so if you're riding your bike on the sidewalk instead of getting arrested, because you don't hav an i.d., you can show your municipal i.d. and get a a summons like everybody else. to access city buildings, my own building, you have to show an i.d. to get in. showing it as a vehicle for equalizing access to a number of different services and amenities in the city. so a few weeks ago we announced a partnership with 33 of the city's leading cultural institutions, the metropolitan museum of art, broncx zoo and i will be part of the idea of opening the doors of places like the met and others. they're very interested in diversifying their audiences but opening the doors to a broader cross section of new york and, frankly, i think it makes the card very appealing to people
who may have a driver's license but don't get a free membership with their driver's license. we'll make this a card that all new yorkers are carrying, not just the undocumented therefore kind of removing some of the stigma associated with it. the card launches january 1st. it's a bit of a hair raising schedule to get this off the ground, and folks can sign up mainly through the libraries. you basically have to be able to show some other form of tow photo i.d. and can you get your municipal i.d. expect to hear more about that in the coming months. >> i'd love to hear how each of you sees the role of your sector in preparing for federal changes to immigration laws and policies. so the global detroit's out there. not just global detroit if you feel like you can speak about the mosaic projects and we'll start with you, steve, and work down the line. >> the interesting thing listening to the commissioner and senator is that i'm just struck but how pragmatic and
sort of common sense these policies are. they're asking questions about their own communities and what's in the best interests of their economy, of their quality of life in terms of delivering government services, in terms of alleviating poverty and suffering and they're coming to very common sense answers. and i think some of these issues have been foisted upon them and we're stub in this obsession about the undocumented instead of what people in michigan are very concerned about, which is their economic future and their quality of life and their education systems. if we would actually just have a common sense, you know, conversation about what are the impacts that immigrants are having in terms of the average quality of life, in terms of our local communities and our economies and our safety, i think we would have very different both state and local policies as well as federal policies and certainly new york
city and the state of california kind of leading probably because of the high presence of immigrants, but too often what we're seeing is this -- you know, the issue of the undocumented being demagogued to prevent common sense approaches. what we're doing in terms of preparing is we're trying to prepare a welcoming, functioning community in southeast michigan and across the state of michigan. we frankly, sometimes it pains me as the former democratic majority foreleader to say this particularly three weeks before an election, but we probably have the most -- or we definitely have the most pro immigration republican governor in the country and maybe even arguably one of the most pro immigration governors in the country and that's because governor rick snyder understands the economic opportunity and is often quoted saying immigrants make jobs, they don't take jobs. when you bring a new lens and just ask the question, what's in it for our economy, what's in it for our public systems you get to all kinds of new solutions.
and the reality is that global detroit was founded upon bringing a lot of parties from the city to universities to health care systems to work force development agencies to businesses together and sort of saying how do we create jobs, how do we poster growth? and so we end up working on issues like trying to create better language access in our city and we just completed a report of our detroit city council will convene its first immigration task force and completed a rough planning document and the city announced itself as the 41st welcoming city in the welcoming cities and welcoming counties program in the macomb. reagan, fairly socially conservative county of a little less than 1 million people. they've created the one macomb initiative that looks at the
county's mental health systems and health services and how those get delivered to a very rapidly growing middle eastern bangladeshy and bosnian population in that community as well as latino. so, we don't have a grand plan, and this is happening on many levels, from county government to city government, and all of this began out of a private sector nonprofit convening and study of asking the question that was on really taking the issue of immigration or immigrants in our community and asking the question of what was at the core of michigan and metro detroit's concerns in 2009, which is what's in it for our economy. and we end up working on a lot of issues that frankly immigrant rights groups, social service agencies have worked decades on and sometimes with that new energy, those new partners, i think we're bringing new solutions or we're championing old solutions, frankly, and giving them new energy to be
successful. so i'll just say that there's a lot of things i don't want to talk about that we've avoided on the state level because of governor snyder's promises. if they knew what was happening behind the scenes they would try to capture and figure out how to introduce it in the state legislature and then we would have a hot button issue on our hands. so there's a lot of opportunity, and it is happening in other places as well as i mentioned from st. louis to chicago to, you know, dayton which is a very small immigrant population has really embraced immigration as a revitalization and quality of life tool. >> do you see yourself kind of jumping into action if and when the president announces administrative reform? >> absolutely. yes. so we've built a welcome mat network which is an online searchable databases from esl to citizenship that is cross tabulated by culture and by language. would he have one of the most robust welcoming america state
affiliates when welcoming michigan which received a white house champion of change award a couple of years ago. we are talking through everything from community colleges to local school systems to health care workers. i mean, there's just a myriad of aspects to integration and, again, i think that when we get off this sort of obsession, i think, of, you know, undocumented people, who's here legally, fear of refugees and you get to what do most communities on a day-to-day basis, how do immigrants impact them, the reality is that words like integration and economic opportunity and solutions that really not only have profound impact in immigrant and refugee populations but, frankly, create opportunities for receiving communities and host communities and new players and partners from all sides of the aisle seem to be embracing these once we get beyond this hot button
issue. >> i think for the record, california is ready for california immigration reform. we've been ready for a while. wanted to put that for the record. you know, one of the issues that we've been trying to deal with as we prepare for one day comprehensive immigration reform is this issue of fraud prevention and the idea has been floated around of creating at a state level of office of new americans, kind of the things that we're all on the same page on. again, in california there's kind of a patch work of different things that are going on throughout the state. cities have office of immigration relations, office of new immigrants, but there's not really one kind of hub where we're strategizing on how do we do outreach, how do we do education, how do we do fraud prevention. language courses, civic courses and things of that nature. the main focus of that for us is fraud prevention. we've known -- you know, we've
seen since the passage in 2001 of 8540 which was a bill to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, we saw these little businesses pop up saying give us $1,000 and we'll help you pay in-state tuition at your local college or university when it's completely free. and so that continues to be a problem for us and even now i'll tell you we're scheduled to send out our -- start providing our licenses for everyone january 1st, 2015. there's still a lot of hesitation from the immigration community, from the immigrant community saying is my information going to be shared. what happens if we have a couple of rogue sheriffs, that they're not going to adhere to the law, and what happens if i get stopped by one of those cops in one of those counties? and all these different things. and rightfully so, right? immigrants are survivalists. they've learned to kind of adapt and modify, but now this kind of
shift. government's embracing. if you look at the immigrants that are coming to the united states and i use my parents as an example, they don't tend to go to government for help. they actually flee their government or they're fleeing from their government. so it's kind of mind shift that we have education that we have to do with our immigrant population. even if we ask them for one more document, they're like, why do you need this document? what if we don't have this document to get a license? it's a constant education, constant reaffirming to them that at least in california we're not going to share your information with the federal government. and so we need some sort of kind of central hub that does this work 24 hours basis because they need to feel -- our immigrant community needs to feel that there's somebody there, some sort of agency that's looking out for their best interests. and so as we continue to wait and hopefully one day we get immigration reform, we're
thinking an office of this nature under the governor's office would help not only continue to help integrate our immigrant populations but give them the assurance that we are not collaborating with the federal government. >> and, yeah, in new york we've started thinking -- we're not quite as ready as california but we're getting there. i guess sort of we see the city as having four different levers. one, we're a big funder of the services that have to kick in to connect people to whatever executive action happens so we're starting to think about from the very simple level of making sure whatever legal services and other providers have contracts with the city, that they're actually able to pivot and serve the need that will emerge with executive action to really thinking how do we create a system, right, rather than kind of don't wait now, millions of dollars of funds to think about whether we're cree ating a system where you have legal services taking the hardest cases, community based providers able to do the outreach and real connections to the community, the share
information about what is and is not happening. that's one lever. we're a good convenor. this goes to the point of needing a central hub. we're neutral among the different nonprofit providers in the field organizing around this. we can convene our agencies, right? our department of education, different agencies have to provide documents to people to establish their presence, to establish just like in daca any number of different things. we can actually help prepare them to do that job so it's easier for those who are applying for whatever kind of deferred action comes down the pike. we have a lot of assets at our disposal. when the daca renewal came up one of the things we did was launch a large scale campaign around the renewal but also just about daca itself using our transit system to have ads using community ethnic media contacts. we saw a several hundred percent increase around daca as a result of some of that increase. i think thinking about that
experience and using it for executive action will be one strategy. and a then of course we can be an advocate where there are a lot of negative voices that will emerge when the president oo announces something when immigration reform has been on the horizon. as a city we can stand up and say this is not only a good idea for the country, this is how it concretely helps new york city and it's not a bad thing. the last thing i'll say is, you know, i agree completely with what steve said about most of these policies are really common sense. some of them we probably shouldn't even have to do and it's not really revolutionary work, but i do think that one of the other things that's made possible at least in new york city, what is happening very rapidly right now is an amazing community organizing infrastructure that got my boss elected, that got an incredible city council elected and that's been really savvy about moving the politics in a way where we can move things a lot more quickly than we have even in the past. and i think something like executive action where you have
community organizations with memberships that are going to be interacting with people about this, it's an opportunity to capitalize on that for membership growth, for, again, building the legal key political power to then move for a larger scale immigration reform and really strengthening that. that's unfortunately not my job anymore but i do think it's a critical part of this whole equation is how we take the service delivery and move it into organizing and power building. >> steve? >> i just want to build on that. i hope that as we move whether it's administrative reform or congressional action, that the country has gotten more sophisticated about integration. i know that certainly as bad as things are today, probably better than they were when my grandfather came from eastern europe. and that we don't just look at the legal changes that need to be effectuated which are important, but we talk about the integration that happens. that happens in a myriad of levels. i think that some of the insights just mentioned like the
distrust of government and even sometimes distrust in the nonprofit sector. so, you know, we're delivering our largest initiative as a micro enterprise initiative. for immigrant and african-american owned businesses and entrepreneurs and we've had to, you know, partner with churches and with frankly parents' groups at charter schools and so we've got to be more sophisticated rather than a one size fits all. i think we've got to look at what has really impact and what h does integration look like. that's not only from social justice imperative from helping new immigrants and refugees but it's in the quality of life and the receiving communities and majority populations. when that integration is sped up and delivered more effectively, we all benefit. >> can i just say also that whatever reform happens it has to lead to citizenship. it can't be a permanent resident, at least that's what we're pushing for in california. that whatever immigration reform
happens, that it has to have a clear, nonexpensive path towards citizenship. >> go ahead. >> i was going to say when you look at a common sense approach, right, and you ask what's in the interest of our local economies, it's statistically proven that when people become citizens their earnings go up, they create more job openings and they invest more in our communities. it makes no sense to me for people who want to be here and are economic contributors, why we would not do something in our own self-interest and grow our economy and create better communities. >> senator lara, when you're pushing this notion that there has to be a path to sit sebship and all of you are filling these gaps of lack of federal immigration action, are you getting feedback from entities within the federal government, from i.c.e., u.s.cis, the president's office, congress? >> the conversations we had last
year from our congressional folks was there was a push to have a permanent resident status that wouldn't include a pathway to citizenship. that isn't an option for us. for us we need to ensure that folks if they're going to invest time and energy, that they see a clear pathway and that, you know, that every immigrant has access to be able to become a citizen. we're seeing, yes, we have the model immigrants that everybody talks about but in california we have people from all gallmuts o society. we have to ensure that they have equal access to become citizens. as steve was saying, it helps with upward mobility. i'll tell you, it's proven time and time again, in california and in the legislature immigration tends not to be a hot topic anymore. the conservatives have lost that battle time and time again in california and so what you're seeing is now a republican party that's much more moderate when it comes to this issue.
quite frankly, our work with us in the bipartisan fashion to create policy that really makes sense on immigration. and so we just want to make sure that whatever gets agreed to, that we have a clear path to citizenship and, again, that we take into consideration the cost and the time that it's going to take. we don't want to dissuade people from becoming citizens. and one of those big factors is obviously an economic factor because not everybody who's an immigrant is an engineer. you have janitors, you have nannys, you have folks that are going to work three, four, five jobs to be able to become citizens just like my parents had to do. >> nisha. >> in some respects we have good partnerships with federal agencies. we work closely with u.s. cis and with phyllis and her team in new york on our citizenship initiatives as one example. in other cases, if i had to express sort of a frustration with one area where we don't get as much information, it's not that we're hearing from the
federal government but we're not getting enough is on data. so when the child migrant issue was initially breaking we were really interested in knowing new york city specific numbers if we could. we eventually did get county level data which were enormously helpful. before that it felt like we were in the dark just in understanding how to respond at the local level. i think being able to get some information along those lines more quickly is really something that we're really eager to do. and then otherwise, i think we often reach out to the federal government to kind of engage them in some of our initiatives that implicate their work and have totally sort of -- largely, i should say, open conversations about that. but the main area i think that i've been frustrated around has been data. >> i think it's a real mixed bag so there are a lot of individuals, i think, that are really open to having a conversation about how immigration, how services can be delivered in a more proactive manner and at the same time we're home.
i live literally about 100 yards from the most valuable international border crossing in this country in terms of the value of trade and goods going across the ambassador bridge between detroit and windsor. we've had a lot of issues with i.c.e. and border patrol in terms of raids and those types of things where local agents have violated national policy, and the follow-up and relations with the community have been completely botched and so we -- it's, i would say, you know, it's a medium grade at best. it depends on the agency, the day, the issue. there is certainly no coordinated i would say pro active long-term thinking focus on what and how the federal government can work with our immigrant and refugee communities in a way that will tackle what's most important to michiganders and detroiters which is how do we grow our economy. >> we kind of forget that we have that northern border. i think you're representing the midwest as well as the northern
border for us here today. you're all phenomenal, the work that you're doing, and leaders in your sectors, and i'm just wondering, do you interact with other like entities around the country. nisha, are you working with other cities? senator lara, other legislators must be so envious. steve, i know you talked about other programs. i'd love to hear about that. >> yeah. we work with our sister moiyas across the country. most recently we launched with chicago and l.a. in an initiative called cities for citizenship. the idea is to both lift up the work that we've been doing in each of our cities to invest in naturalization programs in collaboration with our local community partners but also to encourage other cities to do the same thing. i hope that very soon you'll be hearing from a number of other cities around the country that have sort of signed on. their mayors really wanting to invest in citizenship. i think we could probably do better even in having more frequent conversations among the
different cities because many of us are dealing with the exact same issues. we're coming up with different -- slightly different strategies in each of our jurisdictions and could really learn a lot from having more frequent conversations around that. i think the sort of up surge in local activity around immigration in the last few years has meant that there are just -- there's that much more infrastructure for us to be able to work with one another and then hopefully be coordinated and able to push up a narrative to the national level. >> absolutely i think coordination is key especially with other states. for us in california, we're also coordinating with other countries. we look at what different models they have. we've gone to israel several different times. we're looking at australia. we're looking at different countries given how vast our population is and how diverse it is, there's not really apples to apples comparison. rest assured, california's coming to a neighborhood near you. so it behooves you to look at what we're trying to accomplish
in california. we also like to partner with other countries to see what other models are happening. but, again, you can never collaborate enough, i think. it's imperative for us to continue to do so. >> i think that's a great question, and the answer is i think we're at a critical point where this infrastructure is just being built. this kind of legislative that's pro active, mayor's office of immigrant affairs is looking at immigrants as an economic development opportunity is really a focus on integration. we understandably, those who work with immigrants, have been very focused on the immigrants rights and comprehensive immigration reform without really the opportunity to look beyond that at these other questions of integration and so i think that the infrastructure is rapidly developing. if i didn't mention, you know, that we spearheaded global detroit. we staff in conjunction with welcoming america a ten-state regional global great lakes
network that has about 20 metros who have either launched an economic development initiative or in the process of launching. i mentioned many of those programs that were four years old. some of them, we have two or three organizations that are older than that, like the welcoming center for new pennsylvanians in philadelphia and michael coleman has a new initiative ten years old. so the global great lakes network has recently formed. we've done two convenings. we'll do a thirteeneenth -- thi one in dayton. we're writing a playbook around economic development issues. we're doing city-to-city visits where they're visiting each other and trying to learn from each other. we're using social media and trying to learn from each other. i can't tell you how many times i passed out the new york city blueprint for cities. unfortunately for cities like detroit and dayton, there's a lot in there that doesn't translate real well. nonetheless, it is one of the
first tools we have and we need to see more of those types of tools. i remember i served in the state legislature from 2003 through 2008. we had, you know, in-state tuition issues, we had dreamers act issues, we had driver's license issues. i passed some legislation cracking down on notarios and immigration fraud. we didn't at that point have a single statewide advocacy voice to talk with the immigrant community and while there was some great work that happened nationally, very little that focused on the states and the kind of issues we were dealing with. so, there's all kinds of new infrastructure. the immigration policy institute has done policy research as has the policy center to help. the pew center and the work that adam is doing we're hoping will fill the void and we're seeing a little more funders look at these kinds of issues but, frankly, there's a lot more that needs to be done. it's not just a question of sort
of coordinating and energizing the immigrant community to advocate for immigration reform but a lot has to be invested in these kind of quality of life immigration issues. frankly as i said, i consider this to be an important part of our national interests. what really will make this country great for the coming century is our great universities, a good education system and frankly being able to attract the world's tall length. -- talent. i include the people who may have not had the opportunity to get the kind of education that we strive for. those three things i think are the corner stone of our economic success and quality of life. it's amazing that we've allowed our understandable obsession with immigration reform to get in the way of the other elements we need to make our country and our communities great. >> thank you. before we go to questions from the audience, is there anything that any of you would like to
add that you hoped to mention and didn't get a chance yet? >> i'd like to talk about the educational obstacles that exist for immigrants and how as steve was talking about the great equalizer is an education and there's a reason why i'm actually sitting before you guys today. as the son of two undocumented immigrants from mexico. and so also as we talk about immigration reform we have to look at what educational obstacles remain not only in our state legislature but are in our federal policies to also incorporate our immigrants. one of the big things that we're working on in california. remember prop 227 which limited the education to english only, and what it did, it decimated language immersion programs in california. but we see this resurgence now of -- from all californians regardless of inner city or social income of wanting their children to learn multiple
languages. we know the pedagogy has chapgsd. if you teach a child multiple languages at an early age, you're going to confuse a child. we know that's completely the opposite. this was common sense and common knowledge in the '90s in california and that's why the past is kind of anti-bilingual education, language immersion initiative. what we did this year in the legislature was to repeal sections of that proposition and actually included a lot of the language dealing with the fact that if we want to continue to be a global economy, we're going to have to ensure that our global work force understands and communicates with each other and that means that californians have to speak more than just english. in a couple hours if not already, you know, thousands of children in california woke up speaking another language other than english. so we have this natural reserve already that makes us
competitive globally. why not exploit that? why not allow them to learn two, three languages like what they're doing in asia and scandinavia leading economies? so we're changing the dynamic. we're changing the rhetoric. and this proposition will now go before the voters in 2016 to eliminate sections of prop 227 and actually include more language that allows for the creation establishment of not only dual language programs but multi-language immersion programs that continue to be popular and hopefully i'm crossing my fingers that we'll get that passed and that we once again tell our young immigrant children that it's okay to learn multiple languages, it's okay to learn spanish and, you know, the world's languages because that's what's going to make you competitive and in turn going to make california competitive as well. >> thank you. >> i think i just echo all of that. i think that the biodiversity that was created in california,
is adopted in new york and six other states and 150 local communities, some of that common sense approach that just to recognize students who either grew up speaking english in their household and went on to learn another language or others who are fluent in a native tongue and have graduated from an english speaking high school and to acknowledge their skill is a no-cost implementation but very forward looking and it adds absolute strength to our global economy for those students and it recognizes what they have achieved. we need more policies like that. i really thank california for coming up with that brilliant idea. i'm hoping some day the state of michigan adopts something similar. i know dearborn and metro have but it's something that should be in all 50 states in all local communities. >> nisha? >> the only thing i would add building on what steve said, building on the integration. the politics of i.d. around the country, right?
on the one hand voter i.d., the other people i.d. we're in this conversation to put it i guess sort of euphemistically around the country about integration issues in addition to the kind of larger question of who comes in and who goes out. and i think new york sees itself as a player in that dialogue, and it's going to be ongoing. i think it's going to get worse before it gets better, but that's where the states and the cities are really playing is being able to kind of put their stake in the ground in terms of what makes sense for our country moving forward. >> thank you. we have time for questions. we do have staff who would be happy to move the microphones down the rows so that if you're in the middle, we don't want you excluded from asking questions.
>> catholic charities from raleigh, north carolina. did i hear you correctly to say nord to get a new york -- >> you need a photo i.d. to get the i.d.? >> right. >> immigrants, most of the time they don't have a photo i.d. i'm saying most of the time a lot of the time they don't have a photo i.d. you have to start someplace. how do you get a new york city i.d. card if you don't have a photo i.d.? >> the number of i.d.s that you can show are pretty broad so that includes foreign passports, foreign driver's licenses, matriculas, school i.d. cards, a range of different things. we're going to have special rules where different community based organizations or social service organizations can help establish identity and residency for individuals as well. so this is sort of something that's part of our current rule making process and lots of groups have been engaged making exactly those claims saying that it's important to ensure that this is as inclusive as
possible. we also have to establish that the person is who they say they are. being able to find that balance i think has been one of the tricki trickier operational issues. we'll go back and forth. >> good morning. my question is for you, senator lara. i am a native los angeles resident. i am a member of u.s. cis. i want to ask a question regarding how california is taking into consideration and vetting these individuals as it pertains to national security and public safety concerns. i'm just -- if you could expand a little bit on -- >> under which -- under which program? >> we could -- we'll say, for example, the california driver's license laws. so you had said that, you know, you're not collaborating with the federal government, however, there are national security concerns in this country and
california is not exempt is if you could explain the screening and vetting for national security concerns. >> good question. just as the city i.d., we went through this rule making process in terms of how do we identify the person? how do we know that that's the actual person that's applying for the license? so we went through a long rule-making process and -- but we are operating under, you know, the i think rightful assumption that not every immigrant is a terrorist. and so we -- >> they're not all innocent either though. >> correct. correct. but the majority of folks here are not, you know -- nothing that i think would have stopped what has happened september 11th. but, i mean, understanding that is that i think we in our
departments are doing everything we can to ensure that we identify the person, we know who this person is and it is kind of a challenge of that balancing act, right? how do we encourage folks to actually -- and also understanding that if a person is coming seeking a driver's license, they want to be part of the system. they want to identify themselves. they want to be an active member of society and be able to take their kids to school without the fear of getting their car impounded. they want to be able to go to work. they want to be able to continue to contribute to our economy without that constant fear of just driving. and so we're very cognizant of the fact and obviously we're not our own country. if the federal government needs to, you know, do what they have to do to be able to identify a person, well, you know, we -- we have -- we'll be able to provide that and so it's i think for the safety of all of us that we get people registered, that people get a license so we know who's driving on our streets and
who's, you know, living in our community. and so the beauty about living in such a diverse state is that, you know, we -- we're comfortable with being different. we're comfortable with seeing people from different parts of the country but, again, national security is definitely a problem and an issue that we need to address, but our kind of frame of mind is the more folks that are obtaining these driver's license, then we know who these folks are. >> thank you. >> i worked on these issues in the michigan legislature when we had real i.d. that came into effect post 9/11. the reality is that driving 11 million people underground and operating without identification and insurance is actually the wrong strategy to be able to find the people who might harm us and terrorize us, that the reality is having policies in which law enforcement and police are -- and identifications are
open and usable by even those who are undocumented creates a better system for law enforcement for national security to be able to find the bad operators and root them out. and so you can go to the -- by the way, on the local -- i would highly recommend going to the police foundation. a national organization that's done a lot of work on this about how to work with undocumented communities in order to help solve crimes and is more respectful of undocumented communities. >> thank you. >> good morning, michael cooper. i'm a member of the new york city bar association's committee on nationality law. hello, nisha. this has been a great panel. we've heard a lot of what cities and states are doing, have doing, may do in the future. i wanted to probe the issue of what we can refuse to do. i'll point this question to you if i may, commissioner. i'm specifically interested in the state of play, our committee in new york has recently
testified before the city council regarding noncompliance with ice detainers. there's one example of what can be done. i'd be interested to hear you talk about state of play in new york. if other panelists have ideas of what states and cities can be sure to do. >> sure. so the current state of play is that the council leader has introduced legislation with the extent to which that the city complies with ice detainers. specifically the law would require judicial warrant for any honoring of a detainer and then even then would require a serious or violent felony conviction within the last five years. this is very different from what was possible in the prior administration where even some misdemeanor charges were causing people to have their detainers be honored. there's also -- i.c.e. has been operating a trailer on like
reikers island. nobody at department of corrections knows how that happened. that's troubling. the local law would also remove i.c.e.'s facility at reiker's island. at that same hearing i testified that the mayor and the administration are in support of the legislation as it currently stands. we have to go through final negotiations but sincerely believe it's on the margins and hopefully very soon we will have a bill that will be passed by the city council and will be signed by mayor and that will virtually eliminate compliance with i.c.e. detainers. >> what we did, one of the big things that we decided not to comply with was with the federal law that would require our local law enforcement to collaborate with federal agents and that was a bill that we did called secured communities.
the discussion nationally of trying to detain these bad guys wasn't translating in california. what was happening is you would get somebody selling you palettas on the corner somehow get arrested for not having a permit to be able to sell on the street. next thing you know they're being deported, tearing families apart. we saw that time and time again. we saw people intimidating home care workers saying we're not going to pay you and we're going to tell the law enforcement that you're here illegally. we're not going to follow federal law. that was a big tremendous victory. changing the paradigm shift and the discussion from kind of a
gotcha mentality where the vast majority are good, hard working peop people. why did our parents come here? why did your ancestors come here? because this is the most amazing country in the world. so people, that's not news -- let's not lose that fact. people will continue to come here because this is a great place to be. we have to change the dialogue and we have to lessen your fear of being a productive member of society. >> thank you. >> good morning. my name is martha sardinas. i'm a former vees officer retired from the state department. i just moved to california from maryland and fortunately did not need a visa to move there.
so i went to a conference last week in san diego and they were talking about specifically the mexican immigration. they were overjoyed by the new law. they referred to los angeles as a sanctuary city and as certain suburbs of san diego as not sanctuary cities. the immigrants can't leave those cities because they are less expensive, they're easier to live in, but the local city councils, we could have a totally different panel here of local city councils that are doing everything they can to make sure that the immigration laws are enforced. they're kind of the reflection of what you're doing. what my concern would be, and of course i hope that some day the federal government takes the action it needs to take, would be that we start to have pockets of sanctuaries and cities that
are, you know, working with law enforcement to -- like along maybe the texas border, they're going to go and enforce the law if the federal government can't do it. i wondered if you'd comment on that and how we can bridge this divide. i mean, my interest is in conflict resolution of these issues and not to divide our country even further on this issue. >> all right. you're absolutely right. we have a group of folks who visit my office quite often who are at the california border with mexico and, you know, you're absolutely right. it's not a -- i'm painting a picture here that, you know, california, we're progressive and we're leading immigration issues, but that has taken time and we still have pockets of -- you've seen them, murietta issue where the children were turned away and begged for us and the legislature, you know, if there were a bunch of brown people or
people of color stopping federal agents, what would happen to us? we would have been arrested. and so the dynamic is still kind of very vitriolic in california especially when you go inland. people tend to divide california north and south. i think we're more, you know, west coast to inland empire we say in california. but, again, i think as immigrants continue to incorporate themselves in society, i equate it as a gay man as you meet somebody who's lgbt, there are parts of your society that become part of your family. it changes the rhetoric. it changes the tone. and i think i'll tell you in 2001 when i was working on 8540 and when we were talking about how do we get students to out themselves as undocumented, it was difficult. people didn't -- people were really scared, especially if you lived your entire life thinking you were a citizen until it was
time for you to fill out your fasfa to go to college when your parents had that conversation with you. so we see now these dream act students taking their lives and taking charge of their own lives. they are -- you know, they're active, open members of our society and immigrants are beginning to get -- you know, as we introduce more policies that help them, you see them kind of coming out of the shadows. so i think that helps. and, again, seeing immigrants as our neighbors, as our co-workers, it helps. i think that's kind of what has helped every kind of social movement is the incorporation of these communities into our mainstream society. >> i just want to let those struggling south californians know that detroit is a very low-cost option, very low cost.. incredible value for your dollar. we are a so-called sanctuary city, something that we passed ten years ago. i don't like that terminology. i don't know who created it because, frankly, as i -- going
back to the policing remarks, the reality is that we want to create a safe environment in which police are forthcoming to our local police for law enforcement. we have a lot of violent crime in the city of detroit relative to other communities. we need people who are willing to work with the police and that requires us to focus on -- not on immigration issues when we're solving crimes, burglaries but focus on policing issues. it's documented. the police foundation again shows that having a policing policy that only asks about immigration status when it's critical to solving the policing issue at hand is a better policing policy for safety and for what we want our police to do. so to me it's a smart policing policy. it's not about being a sanctuary city and getting involved in the federal immigration debates. it's about having good policing in our immigration communities in the city of detroit. you can get a house for about $35,000. you can open a business for less than $100,000. we're a welcoming city, micro
enterprise training. welcome mat. whatever you need, we welcome you. >> we're about at time, but i know that you all have been standing there to wait to ask your questions. we'll try to be brief and get you out of here in a couple minutes. >> sure. thank you so much. my name is anale. i'm with the national reproductive institute for health. it's something here in washington d.c. we have been very, very excited about. as an organization that works in places like texas, florida, even on a national level we hear devastating stories of immigrant women dying of preventible diseases because of the des si mags of the safety net in many of these states. we know this is a long-term fight but i was wondering -- also i wanted to add that the u.n. has recognized this this summer that these restrictions do violate international obligations. we're very interested in moving the needle in some of these states and in the federal -- on the federal level where the
political climate isn't as friendly. so i'd be interested in hearing some lessons learned in california that maybe could be, you know, applicable to other states or maybe some more shorter term strategies in states and on the federal level where, again, the political climate isn't as responsive. what are some lessons learned we could apply to more hostile situations? >> quickly, lessons learned. every immigrant group and every immigrant rights organization has their own opinion on how to fund health care for all. some of them want it completely paid by the government through our general fund and those of us that are more pragmatic are trying to come up with ways of how to fund this program. if we're going to -- we've already increased i think it was 3 million people our health care rolls now with medical given the aca. now the work is how do we justify and further expand it to include this vulnerable population? how are we going to pay for it? so the variety of opinions of
how that gets done i underestimated. i thought it was going to be a lot easier to get people together to figure out so now we know. we have more of a clear strategy moving forward next year. >> thank you. >> good morning. my name is courtney lee and i'm a third year law student at georgetown. thank you for coming. my question is for commissioner agarwal. we've heard about the family unity project and the justice corps. what are the other programs that the city has supported and what major challenges in progress have you seen? >> sure. so quick the new york immigrant unity program is universal deportation defense funded by the city, by the city council dollars. the immigrant justice corps is privately funded expansion of immigration legal assistance through fellowships that was spearheaded by judge katzman of the court of appeals. the city has funded something
called the ioi. that started as sort of discretionary city council funding and be now it's been baselined which means it's part of the administration's budget time and again. that's exactly the piece of the funding that we're looking at to figure out how can we further bolster immigration legal services and do it in a way to have community based partners and doing lots of work connected to the legal services. that's the process we're in right now. i think there will be a question of family unity program and other things, will they continue year after year. will that be base lined? i think all of those questions are up for grabs. i think being able to establish that these legal services programs actually saved the system money in the long term is very important. i know some research has been done on that but also the argument we're trying to make and will be doing a study on is that it's important from a poverty fighting statement. mayor de blasio has emphasized the importance of challenging inequality in our city. lack of immigration status but
even just not being a u.s. citizen keeps pack back economically. and so i think making that connection between immigration/legal services as poverty fighting is central to what we want to do. >> stick around this afternoon for the session on models. >> okay. i'll make it quick or i'll try. i'm kate hibs. i work with the national community reinvestment coalition. we're interested in immigrant banking. you talk about access to health care, access to education, those kinds of things. what about access to financial services, especially when immigration costs, legal costs will be thousands of dollars over someone's lifetime. how do we help -- how are you guys working with financial institutions, or better yet nonprofit lenders, finance. >> al: fraud, helping against that. how are you guys working with financial institutions to bring them into the financial
mainstream and help people finance shifting their immigration status amongst other things? >> i think you're absolutely right. financial empowerment is essential. under the framework that we're working with in terms of the office of new americans, there has to be a financial empowerment component. we can talk here until we're blue in the face about poverty, financial equity and so forth, but what we do see especially in california, our immigrants come with a very strong entrepreneurial spirit. and i think it's a matter of survival as well. my mom would sell you anything. she would sell you after vvon, jewelry, shoes. how do we capture that entrepreneurial spirit? how do we give people like my mom at that time some sort of pathway to allow herself to build her own business? or if you're selling tamales on the corner and you have, you know, 100 customers, how do you build that to make that into the
best tamale maker in california and you become, you know, world renowned for your tamales, right? so we're working with a lot of the financial institutions, the big banks in california and nationally because it behooves them as well. they see this as a new market in california. they're part of the discussion. when we look at the smaller banks as well, the community banks, they're all in the table with us having these discussions of how do we encourage them even just to bank on and we talk about the bank on san francisco, bank on california, bank on movements all over, again, incorporating our immigrants into financial institutions. not only that but allowing them and helping them built wealth and say that it's okay to build wealth. you want to leave something for the next generation and you shouldn't feel bad about that. we're changing that discussion as well. in california it's a big component of our office of new americans.
it's a great point you brought up. >> thank you. >> i'll be very brief. first of all, we could have given your mom a loan through our prosperous american loan. this will help us. detroit, toledo, some of these cities have land banked properties that we're trying to use for redevelopment and we're having problems because undocumented people who have a history of buying vacant property, moving in, creating great new homeownership in urban neighborhoods post 9/11, some of the security things we've put in place can no longer get home mortgages. we have a huge problem of financing that. we have to figure out what those solutions are and we're trying to do that every day on the ground right now. >> thank you. last question. my name is ellen and i work with dsf consulting. we do professional development for teachers who work with esl students. lots of times when we're trying to empathize with esl families and trying to get them involved and connected, they're afraid whenever we send anything home,
especially when it's in english, but just in general, why am i being called in. parent/teacher conferences, they're afraid of deportation or that type of thing. how do you suggest that we begin that conversation to bridge to esl families? >> wow. i mean, as somebody who lived that firsthand, you know, i think we need to have a conversation with our immigrant communities. the level of respect that immigrants have towards education authority figures like a teacher, very, very well respected. so whatever the teacher says is kind of law, right, in my family at least it was. and so -- but with that said, there is -- there is this issue of immigrants and my own experience i can speak of is like you get dropped off at school and they go to work. parents go to work two, three jobs and they assume that you're
educating their child. so there's an organization that i belong to called p.k. that integrates a lot of the immigrants to let them understand what a school board is, what a principal, what your rights are as a parent. how to read your child's report card. and so we need more investment in these organizations about integrate the parents more into their educational system because they're very different depending on what part of the world you come from. so we need more of the resources to help transition the parents to understand our own educational system which varies from state to state, city to city. so it's a very complex issue but very important for us to continue dialoguing. >> let's give a round of applause for our fabulous speakers. [ applause ] . our next panel begins at 11:30. thank you, everybody.
president obama has been issuing an executive order on immigration policy after the november 4th election rather than wait for congress to act on pending legislation. a panel recently examined what that executive action could entail and how the results of the mid-term elections could impact the president's action. this discussion was part of an all day conference held by georgetown university law school. it's an hour and a half. okay. thank you very much and welcome now to our second session of the conference, which is on executive action, policy and political implications for the future.
my name is doris. i'm at the immigration policy institute. i'm very pleased to welcome an outstanding panel here today. we have ana navaro. she's a contributor to cnn. abc news, lots of other places you will see ana popping up. and i owe her particular thanks because she's had a rugged schedule getting here. >> i woke up at 5:00 in the morning. if i'm incould he here rent, let's blame it on that. >> in advance. and then norm orenstein who is a resident scholar and simon rosenberg, founder and president of the new democratic network and my colleague mark rosen bloom who's the deputy director of the immigration program at npi. executive action is a very, very
brood topic but the context for the topic today is the very specific issue of what the current administration and president might be doing to take further executive action building on other actions that have already been taken in this administration. the immediate back drop really began in the spring when the president called upon dhs to review its deportation policies in order to determine whether more could be done to create a more humane set of policies consistent with the responsibility, of course, to enforce the law. this came in the face of record high levels of deportations for which he has drawn very, very strong criticism from particularly latino constituency groups including protest marches and other forms of political action and that's, of course, a
core constituency for the president and the democratic party so it's been an important political issue. that dhs review soon became pretty much side lined by a real effort to give a real effort to give political space to republicans in the house in the hope that there would be one more chance to move on some form of immigration legislation in the spring and in the summer. that came to a halt in late june when speaker boehner went to the president and told the president that, indeed, there would not be any further immigration action in this congress. reportedly, the president was extremely frustrated and angry and made very clear very quickly after that that he was prepared to take executive action in the face of congressional inaction. and at that time, announced that there would be an announcement
with all suggestions that it would be a broad kind of relief that would be provided by by the end of the summer. well, the end of the summer came, and in the meanwhile there had been a lot going on in immigration focused on child migrants and issues at the southwest border and issues of people fleeing violence in central america and joining family members in the united states. the president had lost a pretty big appropriations effort with the congress by that time and so the announcement then was made in september that the end of summer would be postponed until the end of the year. well, of course, we're now in that period between almost an election and nearly the end of the year with a lot of speculation and continued discussion about the withers,
the whethers, wuthers, whether an executive action. so that's what we're going to be talking about in this panel, the ins and outs of that, substantive as well as political. the format will be questions. i'm going to put questions to -- opening questions to each of our panelists and ask each of them to make some opening remarks and then hopefully that will put enough issues on the table for us to begin to do some cross talk among us as well as any follow-ups that occur and then during the final section of the panel, the last half hour or so, we will open the floor to q&a from the floor. so i'd like to begin with mark and ask him to give us 5 rundown of the possible actions that the president might take, what seemed to be the actions that are under consideration. outline for us, if you would,
the different measures and approaches that seem possible and the numbers and the groups of people who might be affected by them. >> thanks, doris, i'm going to go up to the podium. maybe i'll -- well, whatever, i'm here. so thank you, doris, and thanks to the organizers for including me. so i'm going to jump right in because i'm going to try to cover a lot of ground. i think that mic was on, wasn't it? >> no. >> okay, thank you. okay. so i'm going to start by talking just for a moment about what we mean by executive action in general and in the context of immigration policy and then i'll briefly review how president obama and his predecessors have
already shaped immigration policy through their executive authority and then i'll -- as doris asked, i'll describe some potential scenarios for what executive action might look like and say something about how many people would be affected and what some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches might be. so i'm a political scientist and when i used to teach my intro to american government classes, there was no section on the syllabus called "executive action." so what do we mean by this term? the answer is that in a separate power system? which congress writes the laws and the president implements the laws, a lot of policy gets made in the second half of that sentence. and on a general level, executive action describes any policy made by the executive branch outside the legislative process. so that includes formal presidential powers like executive orders and regulatory rule making and it also includes implementation authority that gets delegated to the president through the statutory process, through laws, and then also less formal policy tools like signing
statements, statements of policy, agency guidelines so this term, you know, encompasses a lot of different things. one point i want to emphasize is that these types of executive actions, everything i just rattled off, have been very important on immigration policy forever because the underlying policy debates in immigration are so complex and they encompass both complex domestic issues and foreign policy issues that presidents have weighed in on and also because congress has always struggled to pass immigration laws. so it's often been left to presidents to do things on their own. so i'm going to not go through the details of all these examples, but i do want to mention five different tools that presidents have used over time to set immigration numbers and to shape enforcement policy sort of inside the legislative process. and the first one i'll mention is humanitarian parole. parole is explicitly authorized
by the ina, so it's a delegate powder and it refers to the executive branch's authority to permit the temporary admission of someone outside the normal visa process for urgent humanitarian reasons. so people can be paroled individually, and that's also a long history, as you can see on this slide, of presidents paroling whole groups of people into the united states on humanitarian and foreign policy grounds. humanitarian parole permits is admission of people outside the visa process. presidents have also grant red leaf from removal to unauthorized immigrants in the united states. prior to 1990, the main tool for granting this type of relief on a categorical basis was extended voluntary departure. lots of cases where e.v.d. has been granted. extended voluntary departure was not explicitly authorized by the ina and some members of congress
objected to how it was used, seeing it as being sort of politicized. so in 1990, congress eliminated evd and established a new procedure called temporary protective status, tps, and tps lays out more clearly-defined conditions under which dhs can, acting alone, suspend deportations for groups of unauthorized immigrants categorically in response to an armed conflict, a natural disaster, other extraordinary and temporary conditions. so examples of tps, despite the fact that congress got rid of evd and created tps, presidents have continued to grant categorical relief outside of tps under a procedure called deferred enforced departure. ded looks a lot like extended voluntary departure with the difference being that, you know, after congress got rid of ebd, presidents have continued to
assume the authority to grant deferred enforced departure generally by issuing executive orders to create ded categories. and then the fifth thing i'll mention is that every modern president has also assumed a more general authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case by cases by us outside of all these programs. prosecutorial discretion refers to the power of a law enforcement agency or law enforcement official, rather, to decide whether or not to commence or proceed with official action against a possible law violator. in the immigration context, one form of discretion is to defer deportation or defer action to suspend deportation proceedings against an individual. so when we talk about deferred action, that's a forof prosecutorial discretion that the executive branch takes. one reason law enforcement agencies exercise discretion
generally and in the immigration context is to ensure they're using reforces efficiently to pursue their top priorities but it bears emphasis that i.n.s. and dhs has also emphasized discretion by identifying groups of people who may qualify for deferred action, as in the examples on this slide. and all of these cases, the primary justification for deferred action was humanitarian. either instead of or in addition to sort of practical arguments about the efficient use of resources. so the obama administration has taken -- has already taken a series of actions that follow on this history. the first three bullets on this slide are uncontroversial and i'm not gong to talk about them unless people are want to get into it in q&a. the last three have been somewhat controversial. in 2010 and 2011 then ice director john morton issued a series of mem randa describing when ice officers should
exercise discretion and how ice should prioritize its enforcement resources. then the august of 2011 a dhs/doj working group was formed to review cases on the docket and administratively close some cases as a form of discretion because they weren't -- cases that are not consistent with the administration's enforcement priorities. and then in june, 2012, secretary napolitano, then secretary napolitano announced a policy to defer enforcement in cases involving certain unauthorized immigrants who had arrived in the united states as children and who met certain education and background checks departments. the taca, deferred action for childhood arrivals. so i want to say a little bit more about how these programs could be expanded consistent with the president's pledge to consider additional executive actions. so first with respect top dhs's enforcement priorities, one point